Trust us. This is huge.
If there's one thing Dodge wants to go down in the modern automotive history books for it's for this: outrageous amounts of horsepower. The now out of production Challenger SRT Demon, as the top example, produced a maximum of 840 hp. Only last week, Dodge unveiled its new 707 hp Charger Widebody. Does this signify a grand horsepower finale of sorts? Not even close. The Detroit Bureau has learned from Dodge's global powertrain chief Micky Bly that "people want more than (what's available) today."
In order to accomplish that, however, one new piece of tech will be required: electrification. An electrified Hellcat V8? That's exactly right. Not only will this allow Dodge powertrain engineers to extract more hp from the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat, but also an opportunity to move forward regarding the ever important "government compliance."
Bly stated that FCA wants to reposition itself as one of the industry's leaders in electrification "over the next 12 to 18 months." "We're not leaders now," said Bly, who was a pioneer in the battery-car space while working at General Motors, "but we will be soon." What exactly will happen next? Bly refused to offer specifics, but several well-placed FCA sources did offer some hints.
Future Hellcat models could soon have a mild hybrid system that could add an additional 130 pound-feet of torque while weighing less than 100 pounds. More weight? Yes, but that's actually very little considering the added torque that'll lead to improved performance – especially in a drag race.
This mild hybrid system would be similar to the one that'll be used in the upcoming Jeep Wrangler hybrid. FCA is also busy developing more hybrid models, including mild, conventional and plug-in. All-electric models are also coming, including a Fiat 500e successor. The also upcoming Alfa Romeo 8C supercar will also be offered with plug-in hybrid and hybrid drivetrains, depending on trim.
Unfortunately, no production launch time frame was given for the electrified Hellcat models, but what's for certain is that they're happening because there's simply no choice. Discontinuing them entirely is not an option for Dodge.